Big hearts abound for little one’s benefit

One good deed, it seems deserves six or seven more

Pictured in the expanded passageway between living room and kitchen are

Too often there seems to be no suitable agency a person, family or group can turn to in a pinch. There may be proper channels they can be steered toward, but that usually leads to a process requiring months or years in the quest for results which may not ever arrive.

When straightforward help is needed there’s nothing like a local service club well-versed in getting things done.

The Castlegar Selkirk Lions are among the people who can be counted upon for relatively immediate help.

Case in point: the family of a physically challenged six year-old girl, whose small home did not allow for the girl and her specialized walker to navigate through the narrow doorways.

Lions Club secretary Joanne Baker was told of the predicament and quickly set about doing something. For starters, she contacted Susan Olheiser of the Carpenters Union Local 2300. Outgoing and organized, the pair enlisted support from around the community and today some extensive renovations to a Castlegar home are all but complete.

A large part of the procedure involved the removal of a chimney which led the way to a wall removal. The difference is dramatic and what it means in terms of the little girl’s mobility is all the more dramatic.

“She couldn’t get from the kitchen to the living room,” described Baker of the pre-reno plight for the small resident. “So there was a domino effect. You don’t just take down a wall because there was a chimney there. In the chimney were the vents for the furnace (50-years old) and the hot water tank.” Both of those sizable appliances, by the way, have been replaced with new units.

“Everything we have done in here has been through donations from the community,” Baker continued, focusing attention on her energetic collaborator, Ohlheiser, who was instrumental in lining up fully qualified and accredited help from a variety of generous tradespeople.

“According to our budget we should have approximately $1,000 remaining after the final invoices come in,” stated Olheiser. “The Castlegar Lions’ plan is to take these funds as seed money to give this little girl a wheelchair ramp which would allow her to get her walker in and out of the house on her own.”

Wrapping up a September 15 visit to the the home, on what appeared to be the final day of work, Joanne Baker said, “We are not releasing the family name at this time. This is a major project and many have been involved in making it happen.”

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